It’s understandable even if ridiculous that Warner Bros keeps trying to lower everyone’s expectations for this behemoth blockbuster of a Batman Begins sequel. My sources at the studio keep insisting that Dark Knight will “only” make $90 million to $100 million for its opening 3-day weekend. I can’t believe they’re seriously suggesting that Dark Knight will make less than Iron Man. But the WB insiders point to all the increased competition at the megaplex now as opposed to the beginning of May. Whereas my box office gurus are predicting domestic gross as high as $130M for the wildly anticipated Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale film because of all those record-breaking early ticket sales at North American runs, including IMAX. That would put it 3rd in terms of all-time opening 3-day weekends — behind Spider-Man 3 ($151.1M on May 4-6, 2007)and Pirates Of The Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest ($131.6M on July 7, 2006). One worry mitigating the Heath Ledger fanboy factor which Hollywood has mentioned is that the pic’s 2 hour and 32 minute running time will limit showings. But that isn’t an issue anymore since many theater managers/owners plan round-the-clock screenings during its midnight July 18 mega-debut. Heck, even the staid New York Times is gushing all giddy about the pic in its news pages, even citing meaningless polls that moviegoers are so hot for the pic they’ll take the day off next Friday just to see it. (Hey, not everyone who frequents the cineplex asks on the job, “You want fries with that?”)
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